Saturday, May 16, 2020

Peanut Butter Flashback

My current quarantine lifestyle seems to revolve around food. Which is fine because I like food. I enjoy meals. Food has become an integral part of sane survival techniques during these troubling times, and I like spending time cooking comfort food, the fare of my childhood. And the thought of comfort foods consumed years ago brings back memories...

I can’t remember when I was on my own for breakfast, but sometime in elementary school. Weekday mornings were hectic at our house. Dad left for work first, dashing to make the train to Manhattan. Then Mom took off, and finally my sister and I. 

I like to sleep. It is one of my best talents. So mornings I would sleep as late as possible,
then throw on clothes, grab my books and breakfast and race out the door. My breakfast-to-go was a piece of toast with a hunk of peanut butter slathered on. There must have been other choices, but peanut butter toast remains firmly entrenched in my mind, munching while walking to school. Enough nourishment until lunch... 

I remember standing in the lunch line impatiently waiting to pay for my meal, then walking with my tray to the nearest empty seat among rows of green tables that filled the cafeteria. By the time I maneuvered through the lunch line there was not much time to schmooze with friends. Sometimes a homemade meal in a paper bag made the trip to school with me. I don’t remember its contents, but cold cuts were always in our refrigerator. Not the appealing kind craved today like fresh turkey off the bone, pastrami and Hebrew national salami, but cheaper meats like bologna, ham, and liverwurst. I hated liverwurst and will not touch the stuff to this day. There was always peanut butter and jelly. 
Peanut butter toast and sandwiches made at home were always on
white bread.
Chaotic and noisy come to mind when recalling the lunch scene. By the time I was in junior high we had about 20 minutes to get our food, eat, drink, throw away the trash and move on to our next class. 

While our taste buds and level of food sophistication may develop over the years, food consumed when young become part of who we are. Although I rarely eat peanut butter nowadays, I remain a lox and bagel devotee and love comfort food like mashed potatoes, a plate full of spaghetti and meatballs (nowadays turkey meatballs), chicken soup...but I am getting hungry thinking about all this food. Remembering comfort food and preparing comfort food may be a good way to pass confinement time, but I fear my bathroom scale will protest and as summer approaches, my clothes may not fit quite as comfortably as they did last summer. Oh well...


  1. I have a peanut butter sandwich about once a month. It is healthy easy and filling. Like you we had luncheon meats most days, but I do like liverwurst.

  2. Oh there is nothing like a PBJ sandwich! Still like them, although in a silly so-called nod to "health" I use almond butter.

  3. I've become addicted to almond butter. Sometimes I take a spoonful and just gulp it down. And I can't be trusted with a bag of nuts because I'll eat it all.

  4. Today, I would never on purpose eat a p&j sandwich. I did my duty, though, when I was a kid. It was always smooth and sweetened, like Jif. On white bread. :-)